The Marcus bowling program continues to roll strikes, with both the boys and girls teams qualifying for the regional tournament this past season.
Coach Allen Nance said he is pleased with improvements he has seen from his athletes in spite of a few significant challenges throughout the course of the last few years.
“Due to reaction to the COVID-19 scare, our team membership was reduced to the five boys and five girls needed to field Varsity teams,” Nance said. “Both teams bowled well during the season. Both teams qualified for the regional tournament. Not having that sixth bowler hurt the boys as they had to compete a bowler short in the tournament.
“The girls, however, stepped up and bowled well. All five girls (Emma Bowling, Veronyca West, Jamie Campopiano, Alex Thornfelt, Vivianna Lopez) bowled well above their averages. Emma, the team captain, had the high series and led the team to the regional championship.”
The girls ended up finishing 13th overall in the state.
West, a sophomore at Marcus, also competed in the singles competition and advanced to the semi-finals where she was eliminated by the eventual state champion by only 28 points.
“She has bowled for less than a year and a half and finished in the top four by bowling a 207 average for the day,” booster club president Jamie Haygood said.
Marcus Bowling Club was first formed in 2002, and Nance joined the program a year later.
Over the years, the Marcus bowling team has competed at a high level, regularly qualifying for the regional and state tournaments, and Nance said he believes it is important to understand where each individual bowler is at in order to be successful.
“My coaching philosophy is that not all flowers bloom at the same time,” Nance said. “This is true even for the same bush. It is up to the gardener to make sure the plant has the water and fertilizer it needs to stay alive. You do not cut off healthy branches just to let the one or two blooming flowers shine. Eventually you will have no bush left.
“I have had bowlers who bowled on the JV team for three years and blossomed brightly in their senior year. On the flip side, I have had some who bloomed early as a freshman and grew no more over the next three years. It is my job to keep the late bloomers encouraged and the early bloomers growing.”
Nance said that young people interested in trying out for the bowling team at Marcus are always welcome.
“What I look for in students is the sincere desire to become a better bowler,” Nance said. “That applies to everyone from the beginning bowler to one with years of experience. It is important for members to be willing to listen, learn, and try something new.”
Visit the Marcus Bowling team’s Facebook page to sign up or for more information.